The Collection

The October 27 Archive currently contains 176 objects and is regularly being expanded with more material. The archive includes flyers and programs from community gatherings held since the October 27 attack, a comprehensive collection of news coverage about the day of the event, oral history recordings reflecting a diverse array of experiences, and historical documentation about the Jewish experience in Western Pennsylvania.

Using this archive

You can view all the materials currently included in the archive using the browser below. Each object has been described and cataloged to help you discover materials, learn about these materials, understand the context in which these materials were created, and draw connections between different materials. You can refine the browsing experience using various filters, including creator, type, and subject. Some of these filters have already been used to create preset galleries, each organized around specific aspects of the archive. You can also look for specific words and phrase found in the archive using a keyword search.


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Rabbi Herman Hailperin and Cantor Joseph Levin photograph

Black and white photograph showing Rabbi Herman Hailperin and Cantor Joseph Levin wearing Jewish religious regalia standing at the bima of a sanctuary. Bima is flanked by bouquets of white flowers.

Historical Notes

Tree of Life Congregation was founded in 1864, making it the second oldest Jewish congregation in Western Pennsylvania and the oldest affiliated with Conservative Judaism. The congregation hired Rabbi Herman Hailperin in 1922, a few months before his graduation from Jewish Theological Seminary. He led the congregation until he retired in 1968 and remained its rabbi emeritus until his death in 1973. Cantor Joseph Levin immigrated to the United States from Grodno in the mid-1880s and came to Pittsburgh in 1902, after serving congregations in Ohio for 17 years. He was the cantor of Tree of Life Congregation from 1902 until his retirement in 1940, working first at the Fourth Avenue synagogue and later at the Craft Avenue synagogue.

Use and Reproduction

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Donor Information
Ruth Westerman